Monday, April 15, 2019

The Viciously Anti-Bernie Center For American Progress May Be Better Than The Heritage Foundation But It's No Friend Of Working Families


Podesta, Tanden, Clinton-- How We Got Stuck With Trump

If you've been reading DWT for more than a few days, you've probably noticed how pissed off I get when someone refers to a conservative Democrat as a "moderate." I get at least just as pissed off when someone uses the word "liberal" or "progressive" to describe someone or something that is notably neither liberal nor progressive. Sunday, Ken Vogel and Sydney Ember (a repeat offender) did exactly that in a NY Times piece about the Center for American Progress, Bernie Sanders Accuses Liberal Think Tank of Smearing Progressive Candidates. There may have been a time-- when dinosaurs walked the earth, or at least before people understood what a DINO is-- that the Center for American Progress (CAP) was considered "liberal." But that was well over a decade ago.

CAP is a garden variety, corporately-funded centrist-Democrat Inside-the-Beltway outfit. It was founded in 2003 by lobbyist and Clinton factotum John Podesta. Lobbyist Tom Daschle is the chairman of the board and Clinton operative Neera Tanden is the president. They take millions of dollars from corporate special interests-- Walmart, CitiGroup, Wells Fargo, Northrop Grumman, etc-- and push corporate special interest policies. CAP, for example, has rabidly opposed to single-payer healthcare while sucking up money from Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Eli Lilly, Health Care Service Corporation and the health insurance trade organization, America's Health Insurance Plans. CAP also carries water for the Saudis and Emeratis. Liberal? Not even close. Totally centrist, totally establishment, totally corporate, totally-money-obsessed (to the point of corruption), totally anti-progressive. They have been at the center of anti-Bernie poison inside the Democratic Party. And that brings us to the letter Bernie sent to their board last week:
Dear members of the Board of the Center for American Progress and CAP Action Fund:

I write to express my deep concern and disappointment with the destructive role that the Center for American Progress and its affiliated Action Fund arm are playing in the critical mission to defeat Donald Trump.

Last week, you published an article on ThinkProgress criticizing me for my appearance and for the income I earned from writing a book. Then, a day later, you published a video that dishonestly attacked me for hypocrisy in my effort to address income inequality in America-- a video that was excitedly discussed on many conservative websites.

Sadly, I’m not the only candidate in the 2020 field who has experienced personal attacks from your institution. My friend and colleague Elizabeth Warren was unfairly targeted by a November 2017 article on ThinkProgress that echoed Donald Trump’s bad faith claims that she was being a hypocrite about her ancestry. That attack that was linked on the Drudge Report and immediately immersed her into a rather unhelpful debate. Again in October 2018, you published an article stating that she was hurting Native American people.

That’s not all. In February of this year, an article on ThinkProgress attacked another friend and colleague of mine, Cory Booker, for moving in a progressive direction and joining with me on a prescription drug importation bill.

Center for American Progress leader Neera Tanden repeatedly calls for unity while simultaneously maligning my staff and supporters and belittling progressive ideas. I worry that the corporate money CAP is receiving is inordinately and inappropriately influencing the role it is playing in the progressive movement.

I and other Democratic candidates are running campaigns based on principles and ideas and not engaging in mudslinging or personal attacks on each other. Meanwhile, the Center for American Progress is using its resources to smear Senator Booker, Senator Warren, and myself, among others. This is hardly the way to build unity, or to win the general election.

I will be informing my grassroots supporters of the foregoing concerns that I have about the role CAP is playing. Should your actions evolve in the coming months, I am happy to reconsider what kind of partnership we can have.

This counterproductive negative campaigning needs to stop. The Democratic primary must be a campaign of ideas, not of bad faith smears. Please help play a constructive role in the effort to defeat Donald Trump.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter, and I await your reply.


Bernie Sanders

This is who CAP is, who they serve, how they operate

Podesta and Tanden have done enough damage to this country already. It's unlikely Trump would be in the White House now without them and people just like them playing their neoliberal games for their own profit. Watch who they back this cycle-- and run in the opposite direction as fast as you can. Bernie's campaign addressed his own followers in a very different kind of letter yesterday, pointing out that he "is under attack from the corporate establishment. This week, an organization that is the epitome of the political establishment-- the Center for American Progress (CAP)-- unleashed and promoted an online attack video against Bernie."
And behind the scenes on the day Bernie introduced his Medicare for All bill, they held a conference call with reporters attacking the bill.

That is the Center for American Progress’ real goal. Trying to stop Medicare for All and our progressive agenda.

CAP's leadership has been pretty upfront about their disdain for Bernie-- and for all of us. They see our political revolution as a threat to their privilege and influence.

...The Center for American Progress is an organization whose massive annual budget is bankrolled by billionaires and corporate executives that profit from finance, pharmaceutical companies, fossil fuels, and sending American jobs overseas.

Last year alone, they took funding from financial giants like Bank of America and Blackstone, whose CEO was chair of Trump's business council and is a leading Republican donor.

Goal ThermometerBefore that, they cashed checks from companies like BlueCross Blue Shield, Pfizer, WalMart, and defense contractors like General Dynamics and BAE Systems.

They also took hundreds of thousands of dollars from the fossil fuel pumping United Arab Emirates while the country was bombing innocent civilians in Yemen-- a war Bernie has led the fight to end.

The Center for American Progress has deep connections to the economic and political elites who have done so much damage to working families in every zip code. And what we must do today is send a message that we are prepared to fight back against those who are working day and night to defeat our movement.

...The establishment is panicked because together we are building a campaign that is on its way to winning the Democratic nomination, beating Trump and transforming America.

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At 6:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you yourself mislabel it as centrist. It's a fascist lobbying outfit and "think tank". Among the most corrupt DLC democraps, Daschle, is the honcho. All names mentioned are devout fascists and mostly Clinton acolytes, excuse the redundancy.

I would opine that it is NOT better than heritage. It's equal in its pure evilness.

you just proved, again and still, that the democrap party is shit and cannot be fixed. It must be euthanized.

your epiphany is loooooong overdue dude!

At 6:59 AM, Blogger DorothyFuldheim said...

neera tanden wishes she was me

At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with 6:10. But to save the headline, replace Center for American Regress with Federalist Society. THEN I could accept the headline as accurate, for they are assisting with the effort to stuff the courts with corporate hacks. I saw this coming when Reagan had just gotten into office. Why didn't the democraps?

I'm glad for Bernie doing so well, but I haven't forgotten his collapse at The Coronation. He is going to have to win me back if he's going to get any money from me. My economic condition isn't as good as the last time he ran. I had to struggle to find $5 to give to Mike Gravel to get him into the debates.

If I am going to have to make sacrifices to support Bernie -harder now due to this reduction in my capital assets- I am going to have to be confident in his promises. Right now, I don't have that confidence.

At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:30, the reason the democraps "couldn't see it" was because they were in the midst of "if you can't beat him, join him". Look up the DLC and pay attention to their honchos... the beginnings of the great corporate/democrap circle jerk that has lasted almost 40 years now.

Bernie doing well? All polling, admittedly by corporations who have vested interests, shows that Bernie is 2nd to skeevy joe. Either the pollsters who really don't want Bernie are lying their corporate asses off, or the democrap electorate is the dumbest collection of house plants in the history of earth. Of course it could be both.

BTW: I'll disagree about the Federalist Society. They aren't any worse than CAP. They are bad differently, in approach only, but no different in motivation. Fascism is fascism. period.


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